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When the
Pie Shrinks

How revenue leaders are responding to competitive market conditions

Klue has talked with 300+ revenue leaders to understand their strategies for hitting revenue targets as the market tightens.


Hitting revenue targets has never been more difficult. New business and renewals face more scrutiny and budget constraints. 

So, what are revenue leaders doing
as the pie begins to shrink?


What matters most to revenue leaders today

When asked what they’re prioritizing today, leaders responded that the priorities most crucial to succeeding in their role this year are:


“When your revenue targets get into the millions and more, you can’t get there with herculean efforts from a few. You’ve got to actually get everybody pulling in the same direction or you’ll hit a wall.”


Chief Revenue Officer


Competitors are killing your efficiency

Revenue leaders are prioritizing how to maximize revenue and improve performance as efficiently as possible across the business.

However, the biggest threat to achieving efficient revenue growth: More competitors popping up in their deals. Like weeds.

On average, respondents estimated that 21% of their deals were lost directly to a competitor. And of those lost deals,
one in three were winnable.

Losing these winnable deals doesn’t just sting your ego.
These are deals where the buyer has:

84% of revenue leaders noted that losing these 
winnable deals
negatively impacted their sales efficiency.


After won deals, competitive losses took up the largest portion of their reps’ time.

Wins: 57%
Losses to Competitors: 24%
Losses due to poor fit: 11%
Losses to Status Quo: 5%

None of the above: 3%


Competitive losses also have the most negative impact on their sales reps’ morale:

Losses to Competitors: 64%
Losses due to poor fit: 25%
Losses to Status Quo: 24%
None of the above: 6%


When asked what was under their control in order to tip those winnable deals and close their competitive revenue gap, respondents said the most effective methods were:

Experts sat down with Klue to share their favourite competitive deal stories


The truth about competitive selling

As deals become even more competitive, 76% of revenue leaders said that they’ve seen a greater separation between top performers and low performers on their teams.


“For the last few years, if you stood under the basket, you were going to get points. Now it is harder to win business as there’s going to be more heat in all of these deals. There are more people chasing less pie.”





What separates the best sellers from the rest in competitive markets? Knowing versus executing.

Nearly three in four revenue leaders are confident their reps know their biggest differentiators, but only 30% say their reps can show this differentiated value effectively within a deal.

Sellers are also spotting competitors too late in the deal.

Nearly half (47%) of revenue leaders say that their reps are only picking up on a competitor’s presence in a deal when it gets to the
negotiation stage or later. 

13% say that their reps don’t know who they competed
against even after the deal closes.

Chris Orlob shares some of the best competitive selling stories during his time leading the sales team at Gong.


The new reality of renewals

Closing the competitive revenue gap and hitting targets isn’t just about winning the deals that you should have won.

Customers churning to another solution is a double blow – this is lost revenue lining your competitor’s pockets.

Because of this, customer success teams are now the second most supported stakeholders with competitive enablement in their organization:


93% of revenue leaders say that their company is prioritizing renewal and expansion support for their customer success teams this year.


Respondents also say that customer retention is the most impactful revenue stream for hitting targets:

Customer retention: 38%
Net new business: 37%
Expansion within existing accounts: 25%

As markets tighten, businesses go after where there is already budget. Your customer base.

However, revenue leaders don’t have confidence that their customer success teams are equipped or prepared to handle more competitive renewal discussions.

40% are confident that their customer success teams know when a competitor is present during a renewal.

41% are confident that their customer success teams are able to demonstrate differentiated value from competitors during a renewal.

Experts sat down with Klue to share how they’re retaining customers against the competition.


Win-loss analysis is helping businesses win more

Revenue leaders are increasingly turning to win-loss analysis to win more against the competition. Nearly three in four respondents said that they’re using win-loss analysis within their business.

74% of revenue leaders are using win-loss analysis within their organization



82% are conducting quantitative win-loss research



49% are conducting qualitative win-loss research.

Leadership teams are most commonly reviewing these
insights on a quarterly cadence:

Those that aren’t using win-loss analysis are losing ground
to the competition…

Respondents not using win-loss analysis were 86% more likely to say their business does a poor job of understanding competitor strategies.

Respondents not using win-loss analysis were twice as likely to say their business does a poor job of developing strategies to stand out in the market.

Lost revenue to competitors is a metric that many are still missing out on.

Only 52% of revenue leaders say their organization quantifies the lost revenue to each competitor within their market.

Identify what competitors are your biggest threat to hitting targets this year by quantifying and closing your Competitive Revenue Gap.


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